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Music Lover's Manifesto

How much do you really love music? Are you willing to sign the following manifesto?

  1. [Assumed Beautiful] I will not pass judgment on the beauty of any music until I have actually heard it.
  2. [Many Forms] I realize that beauty in music can take on many forms. I will not assume that any form or style of music is not beautiful until I have actually heard it. I will be especially careful to not judge music merely based on its:
    1. Choice of instruments or voices
    2. Use of electronics
    3. Use of everyday sounds
    4. Use of randomness or improvisation
  3. [Performance Considerations] I will admit that the beauty of a work of music is inseparable from its performance. I will be open to the fact that other interpretations of a work can be more or less beautiful.
  4. [Many Parts] I will try, to the best of my ability, to listen to all parts of a work of music, both horizontal (time) and vertical (space, frequency, timbre, and texture). I will do my best to not let parts that I dislike affect my enjoyment of other parts that I may like.
  5. [Non-Musical Concerns] I will try to not let any of the following affect my ability to listen for beauty in music:
    1. The methods which were used to create the music -- no matter how arbitrary, random, or trivial they may seem
    2. The stated intentions of the composer
    3. The program notes, CD case, or other non-musical packaging of the work
    4. The quantity of effort invested into the composition by the composer, no matter how little or how much
    5. Any a priori classifications of the music, such as "Pop", "Classical", "Serious", "Modern", "Hip Hop", etc.
  6. [One's Ability to Hear] I will realize that my ability to appreciate a work of music is not fixed, and that my ability to hear beauty in all kinds of music can (and should) be continuously improved over time. This means:
    1. That music which I do not find to be beautiful today, I may find to be beautiful tomorrow (and vice versa)
    2. That some music may become more beautiful if I carefully listen to it multiple times
    3. That some music may become more beautiful if I study it
  7. [Personal Participation] I realize that some music may require my active participation before it becomes beautiful to me. This can mean:
    1. Performance by me.
    2. Use of my imagination while listening, either:
      1. to imagine a scene, program, story, or other extra-musical item, or
      2. to listen for connections in the music (either in time or space) which may or may not have been explicitly determined by the composer ahead of time.
    3. Traveling to hear the music in a particular environment, such as a concert hall, dance club, natural setting, stadium, or art installation.

Sign Here: ___________________________________ Date: ______________

Beauty in the context of this manifesto can mean any music which: